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Ahead of the Curve: A Weekly Blog from TIA Thought Leaders

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by Chris Burroughs, Senior Director of Government Affairs

After attending the 2018 American Trucking Associations (ATA) Annual Management Conference and Exhibition (MCE) in Austin, TX, I can tell you that everyone was buzzing about one topic: HOS regulation. The American Transportation Research Institute or ATRI recently ranked HOS regulations and a lack of flexibility as the No. 2 critical issue facing the trucking industry, behind the driver shortage. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that identified four different areas of the HOS regulations the agency would like to receive feedback on. 

  • Short-haul exemption
  • Adverse driving conditions
  • Mandatory 30-minute rest break
  • The split sleeper berth rules 

TIA recently filed comments to the ANPRM, specifically, members of the TIA Highway Logistics Conference supported revising the split sleeper berth rule and the short haul HOS rule. Amending what we consider to be flawed regulations will provide much needed flexibility to the motor carriers and drivers while improving safety on our nation’s highways and roads.   

The current HOS arbitrary rules are not working and have not resulted in increased safety. In fact, they have had the opposite effect. The pressure of the 14-hour clock is stressful and has caused drivers to drive faster when they are facing the deadline. This is especially dangerous during hazardous road conditions. Since the July 2013 HOS changes, the total number of crashes involving large trucks, as well as fatal crashes for large trucks, has increased by 45.4 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.

In addition, since the full implementation of the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) in April of this year, the FMCSA is seeing a 99.7 percent compliance rate among those motor carriers during a roadside inspection and a significant 48 percent decrease in the number of HOS violations. 

This gives the agency the chance to reexamine the impact of the HOS regulations and what regulations could be improved. Combine this with the amount of real-time data being collected from the motor carriers ELDs, the agency has more than enough data to update the regulatory changes that would benefit the motor carrier industry.

In speaking with several representatives from the FMCSA recently, the agency has its sights set on streamlining this rulemaking procedure as soon as possible.

Stay ahead of the curve with TIA’s weekly blog for more updates! 


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